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Tim Etchells (UK)

Adrian Heathfield (UK)
performance workshops
professer in London

moderated by Clare Colker (Germany)

I'm really looking forward to this talk, because I expect it to mainly be about the ways that mobile networks change the meaning of presence. What is here and what does it mean to be here.

I've been here since noon today and have been writing notes on talks the past 5 hours. I am totally knackered. It's an interesting experiment to be trying to do all of this live publishing. I've never felt more like a cyborg!

I just wish I had brought a fork to eat my salad with.

Transmediale Description

The site of the actions could be an LCD-monitor or a screen, a stage, a website, a gallery, a street or a private room. There will be an encounter in each work or project. This encounter sets off the process of an event’s unfolding and its consequences, and an exploration of the dynamic relationship between the work and the viewer. The mechanisms and economics of these processes – the process of revealing and concealing, of construction and deconstruction, of appearance and disappearance – are the focus of this discussion (Track 1). Against the backdrop of an increasingly mobile culture, participants discuss physical co-presence as a common space of mutual experience.

Notes Will present art and performance pieces to each other
social space digital and mobile media
new form of co-presence
presence in absence
Informational space over physical space
Body present here, but also present digitally elsewhere
How does it affect how we perceive presence and reality?

Tim on the right, Adrian on the left.

Tim shows the first piece.
artist: Franco B, Action 398
video piece

each audience member has a 2-minute encouter in a closed room. You take a ticket and then you go into the space and have your encounter. The structure of the encounter is framed. Franco is seeing people for two minutes for a whole day or sometimes several days. He also uses his physicality (he is bleeding and naked and painted white).
1999(?) or so.

No sound
dog cone around his neck
Franco looks sad and exhausted. I would be too
If I was naked, bleading, painted white, and wearing a dog cone
The other person having the encounter is not filmed at all.

We constantly perform ourselves out
in a social context we are diversly situated
in this work, you go into an alien, disconnected space for 2 minutes
your bodily presence and sensory presence are the only tools through which to encounter the person
the performance space is a space of abstinence

"It's a simple encouter with another person." (WTF is simple about meeting another person who is painted white, bleeding, naked, and wearing a dog cone? That's absurd)

Every person who goes in experiences something different depending on what they are willing to put into the moment. Some will talk to him. Some touch him. Some stay by the wall. Different people construct the encounter in different ways.

There is a lot of negotiation with Franco's eyes. Even though you are in the same space, you have a hard time locating him and yourself in terms of what is going on and what you think about it.

Question to Adrian: What is the complexity of an encounter like this?

The piece is a kind of clearing out of the noise of the multiple interfacaes of contemporary interactions. Elemental copresence. Adrian doesn't see the piece exactly that way. It also brings us back to self and to simple from of two. the lingering question... the notiion of the one to one performance has been so big in the past 10-15 years. How does something that is a big part of so much performance practice (the institution of convening in a common space) be somehow avoided?

This piece, in contrary to other one to one performances, avoids the complex avoidance of the social because of its focus on pain and where it fits into subjective relation. You have a paradox of the experience of pain. Empathy and connection vs incomprehension and the impossibility of sharing. This paradox overshadows everything else for the spectator.

Adrian feels ambiguous about one to one performance.

next piece
Ching She
One-year performance

Started the performance bald and allowed the hair to grow back to
constraints or parameters around his actions over a year
carried out his life as an art project based on these rules for the whole year.

Conditions of presence
intermediale aesthetic gesture
punched a worker's time clock on the hour every hour for an entire year
shitty sleep schedule
couldn't move too far from the punch clock

After punching clock, took one single frame of himself on 16mm standing by the clock
6 minute film=one year

meeting place btw durational performance, the photograph, and film
the piece is a converastion btw these technologies folded into each other through the work. They are all the work.

this guy's hair grows slowly
black t shirt white t shirt no t shirt

discipline of capitalism on the body
performance of subjection
monitoring and accounting
the orders of visibility
exposing the conjunction of the orders of capital and the orders of the visible

old piece, but predictive in questions of surveillance

a kind of mugshot for the order of visibility
temporarity and atemporality
the piece doesn't belong to any particular time.

I take it back. His hair is getting really long.

A feeling of excess or waste
it seems to operate a critique of capital and visibility
the multiplicities of lived duration
flux, flow, constant differentiation that is part of the experience of time

oscillating, vibrating presence and absence constantly intertwined.

Tim asks a question:
This artist's work has a potent sense of what is missing from the document. How does the duration unfold that? The performance that lasts a year puts it in another category. Talk about that

Some of the documentary strategies were evolved late in the works. Yet in a sense they are the thing that make the works exist now.
map of his walk around NY

These guys are not very entertaining.

Adrian asks a question
what is the relation btw this kind of task based duration and your sustained spectacle and large collaborative performances.

I have to admit, it's a bit of a circle jerk.

Uses extended duration to put pressure on and break down the community of people gathered, performers and performers. Break down the control with duration.

One of his works lasts 6 hours. Improvised work where the people ask each other questions. Audience comes and goes as they please, but the performers stay. You present yourself, try to make a good account of yourself, but that evaporates over time. Stage management, posture, diction, etc, disintegrate. Your ability to answer these questions is lost in exhaustion.

Does something with your visibility and vulnerability. Same happens when the audience stays a long time.

In this case, the duration is about pressure (me: But the same with the Chinese piece. He couldn't sleep for an hour at a time because he punched the clock. But he didn't subject the audience to it. The amazing thing that is missing from the video is the visualization of the stress and exhaustion he must have suffered. You don't see it a bit.

Next piece

Tim is now showing his own work? I guess that is easier.

Neon piece of the words "GET OUT"
Have I seen this before, or is there another artist who is doing very similar work?
I don't recognize Tim's name.

Instruction-based piece.

Everyone obeyed this sign, as everyone had to eventually leave the room.

Showing a log of a performance made for mobile phone in 2000 "surrender control"
2009 "39 or so to do"
It's the Here game on your phone

Over a fixed period, you got instructional text messages.
It's an invitation to other people to do things
the people can follow or not follow
the not being sure of whether the instructions are followed is interesting
the things are very vague, nt theatrical. Slight steers or suggestions
Take your pulse
change your plans
Give something away
Be clumsy
make things symmetrical
be the fool
look up at the sky (I should set a daily calendar alarm for that. I keep forgetting lately to look up at the sky.)

It unfolds over a long period of time but doesn't demand your attention all the time
taps you on the shoulder

How do you convene a space of risk
testing of personal and social limits
how does it relate to different forms and conventions of media?

People are pouring out of the auditorium. I wonder if there is something awesome going on somewhere else or if they are just all bored stiff by the way these guys are going on.

language as a tool that invites the participant to unpack the language and make something (image, action, whatever) Language has a great capacity to make pictures and to make things happen.

Reading a collection of words is a creative activity. An unpacking, building You become complicit in the images you summon out of language deferred authorship. You can place something on the table with language and let others add themselves to turn it into something.

On hour into this talk. People leaving in droves.

Adrian's turn, showing a painting. I didn't catch the artist.
Now a video

the force of gesture
don't know what people are doing with their hands

me: "haptic," my ass. This is a film.

weird, floating, magical plane of representation somewhere btw a printing press and a book their complex relation to thie plane(s)

what does it mean to touch and be touched
what is copresence
we think of it as an absolute tangible contact
but in these pieces, touch is also about not touching
oscillation, withdrawel and contact

Panel conversation
bodily presence and film presence and mediated experience

I used to enjoy this kind of conversation a lot more. I wonder what happened to me. It's interesting how some of the people in the audience are also so fluent in academese. I was hoping that they were more going to talk about the definition of presence in real life, even if they used art as a jumping-off point.


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